In the past few years, we have seen centuries of anger and pain spill on to the streets of the Twin Cities, our suburbs, and other cities across the nation. And, without our nation’s resolute focus, issues of race equity and inclusion will likely grow worse.
Race holds a central place in our society’s deepest and most persistent patterns of social inequities, exclusion, and divisions. Racial disparities, discrimination, and segregation are widespread and continue to undermine our nation’s social fabric. Without equity, economic stratification and social instability will continue to increase and far too many families will continue to lag behind. Without inclusion, many are marginalized economically, politically and culturally, facing bias and barriers when seeking basic opportunities for security and advancement.
This system of racialization — which routinely confers advantage and disadvantage based on skin color and other characteristics — must be clearly understood, directly challenged, and fundamentally transformed. If our nation is to live up to its democratic ideals — that all people are created equal and treated fairly — then racial equity and inclusion must be at the forefront of how we shape our institutions, policies, and culture. As individuals, we must all do our part to eliminate the racial inequities and injustice that pervade our community, making our nation and the world a better place.
Thus, our staff, members of the board of directors, and other volunteers of Wings for Widows unite together to proudly support legitimate efforts to create equitable opportunities for our colleagues and the populations we serve. As an organization, Wings for Widows is committed to ensuring all people can take advantage of our service offerings regardless of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, or sexual orientation.
This said, we also understand that we can’t effectively serve the populations we vow to help if we don’t understand their needs. We are committed to investing time to learn about the communities we hope to serve. Who are the stakeholders that would benefit and how can we better engage a diverse mix of stakeholders that would allow our organization to make better decisions? We can’t leverage change without this diverse and powerful mix of people on our team.
We are committed to deepening our efforts towards working for a culture of inclusion within our organization by implementing a more disciplined onboarding process as it pertains to DEI, ensuring it is an included topic item at all board meetings, and providing comprehensive training at least annually. We are committed to promoting fairness and justice. We are committed to listening closely to, and where possible, partnering closely with, BIPOC communities, to align our efforts with that of our partners, activists, and others in the community and ensure all populations can take advantage of our services.
As our community and our country address centuries of discrimination, Wings for Widows will continue to fight for racial equity and equality, because we firmly believe, as our forefathers did, that all are created equal and should have the same opportunities to enjoy full, healthy lives.